Penticton council to consult public over emergency shelter decisions | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton council to consult public over emergency shelter decisions

Penticton city council will ask the public what it thinks of council's decision making regarding closure of the city's emergency winter shelter.
March 31, 2021 - 5:46 PM

Penticton City Council discussed consultation with the public over closure of the city’s emergency winter shelter at today’s special council meeting.

City council’s ongoing dispute with the province over continued operation of the shelter beyond March 31 reached a head last week when B.C. Housing presented the city with a letter stating their intent to override council’s decision using provincial paramountcy powers.

Council voted in favour of a staff recommendation to consult the community about decisions regarding closure of the shelter this afternoon, March 31.

City spokesperson JoAnne Kleb said the recommendation was made following the city receiving considerable feedback both for and against council’s decision.

She said the intent of the survey would be to gather public opinion prior to council looking at next steps. Kleb said the surveys would provide unbiased information regarding public opinion.

The survey will consist of two surveys asking the same questions, one in a random survey, the other by a third party.

Coun. Julius Bloomfield said it would be worthwhile to ensure the public agreed with council’s handling of the matter, while Coun. Katie Robinson said she would “reluctantly agree” to a poll although she did not believe in governance by survey. She said it was important to understand the public’s opinion on council’s decision.

Mayor John Vassilaki said he would support the recommendation to find out what “the vast majority of the public” had to say about the issue.

The surveys will be conducted between today, March 31 and April 10.

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